ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – Some St. Louis residents are starting to wonder if the police should be policing themselves after authorities have been involved in three shootings in the past 28 days.
The officer-involved shootings include a man killed during an apparent drug deal that escalated to the suspect trying to run over the police, a man thought to be reaching for a gun was shot during a traffic stop and a man, who pointed a gun at them, was shot by police on West Florissant on Tuesday night.
The St. Louis police chief has asked University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologists to start a study evaluating how the police department uses deadly force and how it investigates it.
St. Louis police officers have been patrolling dangerous areas of town to crack down on crime which may be the reason for the sudden rise in police-involved shootings.
“Unfortunately, when you do that, you are going to be engaged with people who are armed and there might be armed confrontations,” Police Chief Dan Isom said.
Chief Isom decided to start changing the process of investigating officer-involved shootings when he found faults in 2008. Only homicide detectives work officer-involved shootings then they are reviewed by Internal Affairs and the medical examiner looks at the case before it is presented to the Board of Commissioners.
No law currently requires anyone but the police board to review officer-involved shootings.